New Delhi: Schools in Delhi are openly flouting the Right to Education norms. The RTE has mandated 25 per cent seats in private schools for economically backward students. But more than 70 per cent schools in the capital couldn’t care less. But with the Supreme Court upholding the Act, they may not have a choice any more.
The Supreme Court had mandated that all private unaided schools across the country should reserve 25 per cent seats for economically weak students. However, in the national capital where the rule has been in place since 2011, nearly 70 per cent of the private schools are still violating it and finding ways to keep the economically weak children out of these schools.
CNN-IBN has documents that show that 70 per cent of private schools in the capital have found innovative ways to keep the economically weak children out. For instance, in 2012 after the rule came into effect, 765 out of roughly 1200 private unaided schools did not take the requisite number of economically weak students.
Since the monitoring is only done at the entry level, the modus operandi is simple; the schools cut down the number of students at the entry level and add these seats at the higher classes. This not only reduces the number of seats for the economically weak children but also takes away the level playing field for the regular students.
An RTI application reveals that some of the city’s top schools like Birla Vidhya Niketan, Bal Niketan Public School, St Xaviers School, did not admit a single economically weak student.
“Not only the schools, even the DOE is responsible. They should take stricter action,” a resident Khagesh Jha said.
But private schools say they are stretched beyond their means as the regulations are too harsh to comply with.
“They have valid reasons for doing it. The regulations are too strong. Our revenues are stretched,” Forum of Public Schools Madhulika Sen said.
The government says it will provide Rs 1,190 per month per student but the schools say that’s not enough to provide quality education to students.